Gatwick Flights Resume After Another Suspected Drone Sighting

A British Airways Airbus 320-232 aircraft prepares to land at London Gatwick Airport, south of London, on December 21, 2018, as flights resumed following the closing of the airfield due to a drones flying. - British police were Friday considering shooting down the drone that has grounded flights and caused …
BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty

Flights at Gatwick have resumed after being temporarily suspended following another suspected drone sighting on Friday afternoon.

“We are just hearing a report of another drone sighting that we are investigating,” an airport spokesman told the BBC after a suspected sighting was made at 5:10 p.m. local time.

“As we look into it we have taken the precaution of suspending flights.”

Media reports that flights had resumed at around 6:30 p.m.

Drones over Gatwick airspace on Wednesday shut down the airport for 36 hours after several were sighted in the evening until the following night, grounding 760 flights, affecting 110,00 passengers, including many families with children, looking to get away for Christmas.

Police officers stand near equipment on the rooftop of a building at London Gatwick Airport, south of London, on December 21, 2018, as flights resumed following the closing of the airfield due to drones flying. – British police were Friday considering shooting down the drone that has grounded flights and caused chaos at London’s Gatwick Airport, with passengers set to face a third day of disruption. Police said it was a “tactical option” after more than 50 sightings of the device near the airfield since Wednesday night when the runway was first closed. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

The Times reports that authorities had deployed a military-grade anti-drone system which can detect UAVs from up to 5 miles away and has capabilities such as jamming to bring them down.

Police say they have identified “persons of interest” in Wednesday’s incident. The perpetrator could face up to five years in jail.

Security patrols have increased at airports across the country.

While authorities have not divulged their suspicions as to motive or suspect, The Telegraph reports that Whitehall sources have said police are considering it could be the work of a long-wolf eco-terrorist.

“An eco-protest is at this stage a definite line of inquiry,” said the source.

Another source said the coordinated attack seemed “sophisticated”.

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